1. Discussion on NB IT Positions -- There are currently 2 vacant positions, one that has been based at LSM and the other that was based at the SCC. The team decided to prepare a list of discussion items to bring forward to the NB Library Faculty. These include the following:
*Should these be faculty positions and should an MLS be required? Could an alternative degree such as a masters degree in Information Science or Instructional Technology be a suitable substitute for the MLS?
*Should these positions have subject responsibilities? (there is a feeling from library admin that if these positions are to have faculty status, they should be aligned to one or more RU departments). Should technology librarians be required to serve at the reference desk? Maybe it depends on the individual we recruit. We definitely don't want to see new librarians pushed and pulled in a million directions.
*Can we really expect to get someone with a great deal of depth of experience with several technologies, both information technologies as well as instructional technologies? Quite often candidates with instructional technology background, might not have a significant grounding in other information technologies. By asking for the world, are we limiting the number of potential candidates? Usually individuals have strengths and interests in a particular technology rather than strengths in all technologies. Look at the various LITA interest groups in ALA. e.g. someone with expertise in expert systems may not have expertise in various digital technologies.
*Is there a way that we can help librarians with an interest to develop technological skills we need for NB as well as RUL as a whole? Possibly a librarian could choose a particular technology niche and be funded for training and given the time to immerse themselves and develop some competency and then to share that knowledge with others. We tend to think that this needs to be a formalized program, akin to the short-research leaves. In the past when individuals have tried to do this, there has often been a feeling of competition or jealousy by colleagues.
*Ideally, what we might want is to have several librarians in NB, each with expertise in a specific technology area and have a broader/general knowledge of other technologies. Look at the skills we currently have, look at skills that some of our librarians and staff have that are not being utilized, look at skills we need to develop in-house or need to include in a position we're recruiting for. We may not need to have these individuals be involved in a great deal of management responsibilities, such as had been the case in the SCC. Instead, we now have an SCC Management Team in place that is functioning quite well and providing the needed leadership and management oversite. For a one year basis, Delphine has been given a Librarian V line with the title, Digital Projects Librarian. Maybe, instead of looking for a technology rennaisance librarian which is quite rare, what we really need are positions such as the one Delphine has with a more specific focus.
*Don't fill in the same holes that are currently vacant. As positions become open and even as open positions get filled, we must continually assess what our needs are within the NB Libraries. What do we want the organization to look like? Do these positions need to be tied specifically to the SCC and the science libraries? Should the technology librarians be building based? We think that's a mistake and all it does is keep us trapped in our old organization. Maybe we need a specialist for instructional technology for all of NB and the other line could be an information technology librarian with skills we currently need.
*Are there technology areas that the NB Libraries excell in and how can these be enhanced?
2. Technology Training -- Scott has been providing training sessions on basic competencies for librarians and staff such as the sessions on Microsoft Access. Scott has been working with Catherine and librarians to improve training that's needed. Time-sensitive training is critical. It doesn't help if you get trained and then don't utilize the skills for a few months. It was suggested that generalized training could be outsourced and possibly our internal training should be focused on one on one consulting. Which method is most effective for us? It was noted that Catherine may be working on a Faculty Development week during intersession.
3. Project Reports:
*Network Printing proposal -- Scott has developed a proposal for ICI funds to support network printing in the NB Libraries. Several problems were noted such as charging students for printing where student fees have already been paid for computing services for students (we felt this will probably stop the proposal in its tracks). Also, do we really want to get into the administrative angst of providing printing in the libraries? What is best option for the students and for the libraries? It was suggested that a better solution might be to have RUCS administer all printing. As all the public computers in the libraries are on the network, why can't we have printouts be sent to a remote location which in most cases would be the student microcomputer lab in the library. Sending print jobs remotely, may help students to be more responsible about what they print.
*SCC/Spanish Department proposal -- this proposal is one of 6 semifinalists for special funding by Seneca's office for departments willing to make a major change in the way they teach utilizing technology. Our proposal builds library instruction into the curriculum utilizing Web-CT, and providing contextual information (digital texts, digitized audio and video, reference info such as demographics, geographical context, information on the authors). Lourdes Vasquez, Latin American specialist will have a major presence through the use of Web-CT which includes instructional modules, threaded discussions, and online chats.
*Knowledge Maze -- $3000 has been made available by the TEC. Leslie has completed most of the work and is contracting Bill Crosbie and otehrs to help in the creation of cold-fusion database for maintaining student scores and usage statistics. He will also be redoing some of the scripting from toolbook
4. Misc. -- there were some brief reports from ALA and it was noted that the SCC is currently working with the RU Press on the development of an electronic Encyclopedia of New Jersey.
5. Next Meeting -- Please send agenda items to me and based on that and other things that come up, I will schedule our next meeting.